Public health officials in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland are warning drug users to consume less than they normally would following a spike in overdoses.
The Fraser Health Authority has issued an overdose alert to service providers and community organizations in north Surrey, saying there had been a “significant increase” in overdoses on Friday.
The authority says 12 overdoses were reported but it can’t provide a total number, as not all overdoses are reported in the community. It also says it’s unable to confirm whether any deaths have occurred, as they would not immediately be reported to Fraser Health.
The health authority is encouraging service providers to have overdose prevention conversations where possible, particularly when people pick up harm reduction supplies, and to offer naloxone kits to clients.
It says people who use substances should try a little before taking their “regular” amount, avoid using alone and stagger use with friends so someone can respond if needed.
If you believe someone is experiencing an overdose, authorities say you should call 911 and provide breaths every five seconds until the person regains consciousness or help arrives.
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides immunity from simple possession charges for those who call 911 in the case of an overdose.